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Question:

Complete a SWOT analysis for Ruth's Chris at the time of the case.
 
 

Answer:

Strengths

The presence of restaurant in five countries is identified as the main strength. “Ruth’s Chris” relished noteworthy landmark after completion of IPO and was able to raise more than USD 154 million in new capital. In 2005, the sales of the restaurant grew to record high of “USD $ 415.8 million from 82 locations in U.S.” and ten other international places including “Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico and Taiwan”. “Ruth’s Chris” grew to become one of the largest fine dining steak house in U.S. with an unwavering commitment for customer satisfaction. The menu of the restaurant comprises of premium quality lamb chops, fish, chicken, lobster and veal chops (DeMicco 2015).

Weakness

The limited nature of the franchises owned by other corporations is considered as the main weakness of the company. As per the given case the 51 franchisee owned eateries were owned by only 17 franchisees. Despite of franchisee agreement granting territorial protection and option to develop certain number of restaurant in the territory, it also included termination clauses in case of non-performance. This is considered as a fixed weakness and has a negative impact in the long run. The restaurant never considered diversification model and introducing new products. In addition to this, Ruth’s Chris never took any initiative for developing new types of restaurants. This is evident with no diversification strategy for the 92 stores. There was limited knowledge for demand in some of the situations, such as in only four international markets the company was aware that the “current fine dining steak house model” without brand dilution risk (Lee, Hallak and Sardeshmukh 2016).

 

Opportunities

The restaurant is having the opportunity to export large quantities of beef to Australia as there is a considerable amount of demand in the country similar to U.S. The restaurant may include high disposable income as this will be able to create appropriate pool of income from a country such as China. The opportunities of the company are further discerned with the product diversification strategy. This can be done by including newer dishes in the menu of the restaurant. The market development model for the country was identified with significant scope of revenue increment into four international markets such as “Canada, Hong Kong, Mexico and Taiwan”. This may offer lucrative evidence to the would-be value of the franchisees (McAdams and von Massow 2017).

Threats

The company’s infrastructure may suffer from possible accidents. This was evident with destruction caused with kitchen fire in 1976. There is considerable amount of threat to the company in case the business is diversified across China. It is possible that well to do beef eaters may not prefer to go out for eating in countries such as Australia and China. There may be more competitors who are able to provide more diversified nature of the products as per the menu list. This may become a major limiting factor for Ruth’s Chris. The penetration model may not be able to compete with the fast food services such as McDonald’s (Weng, Gotcher and Kuo 2017).

 

References

DeMicco, F. J. (2015) ‘Cracker Barrel: A Strategic Case Study in Restaurant Management’, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 18(4), pp. 423–434. doi: 10.1080/15378020.2015.1068677.

Lee, C., Hallak, R. and Sardeshmukh, S. R. (2016) ‘Innovation, entrepreneurship, and restaurant performance: A higher-order structural model’, Tourism Management, 53, pp. 215–228. doi: 10.1016/j.tourman.2015.09.017.

McAdams, B. and von Massow, M. (2017) ‘Tipped out: How do gratuities affect restaurant operations?’, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 20(4), pp. 432–446. doi: 10.1080/15378020.2016.1215760.

Weng, S. J., Gotcher, D. and Kuo, C. F. (2017) ‘Lining up for quick service—The business impact of express lines on fast-food restaurant operations’, Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 20(1), pp. 65–81. doi: 10.1080/15378020.2016.1195217

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